By David Walters

In 2014, Ed McCann took a huge step and launched himself out of his comfort zone. Both reluctant and hesitant to call himself a writer, despite the fact that he was constantly putting pen to paper, he formed an outlet for writers (himself included) to showcase their work. He created something that he himself felt he would like to attend and the form became an evening of twelve writers each reading personal stories of about 650 words in front of a live audience. Now he had to call himself a writer.



Ten years on Writers Read is not only still doing live shows (the next one in NYC is Sunday, May 19 at City Winery (Pier 57), and June 30 at The Linda in Albany), but they also record for their YouTube channel, blog, have a podcast, and publish the writings. They are supported by the New York State Writers Institute, and partner with The New Rochelle Council on the Arts, Carnegie Hall, National Arts Club, NY Public Library, and Sarah Lawrence Writing Institute, to name a few.

Writers Read gives voice to the stories that bind us,” said Ed. Those stories are brought together under specific themes (City Winery – Changes; The Linda – Summer Camp). A specific prompt is thrown out for each show and writers submit their 650-word stories for inclusion based on those prompts. About 100 submissions usually come in and are whittled down by an editorial committee of five to the best twelve that are the, “strongest writing and clearest connection to the theme.” Submissions come from around the globe. Ed admits when it gets down to the twenty best, it’s heartbreaking to have to make the choice to drop a submission. Very often a dropped story will make it into the published works though.

There is no operating budget currently but Ed hopes to change that with a newly established board of directors. “Writers Read does not produce revenue (presently), but produces something else, a psychic income.” That kind of income is not income that is spent, but is instead held tightly and long cherished by both writer and audience.

Writers Read has not only given Ed McCann the voice to call himself a writer, it has given that voice to hundreds more.


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